|Linden tincture filtering.|
season has me wanting to capture as much of it's flavors and fragrances as I possibly can. After my recent trip to California to learn more about natural perfumery I've been hungry to gather new fragrant ingredients. I thought I might tincture a few things to add to my perfume organ.
|Linden blossoms drying.|
I started with trying to capture the incredible, brief and elusive fragrance of linden. Where I live in Brooklyn there are many linden trees and there is a two week period at the end of June that is phenominaly fragrant. I recently bought a bottle of linden CO2 from Aftelier
and have been playing around with it. It's a beautiful note, very honeyed and sweet but a bit difficult to work with since it's so easy to lose the quintessential quality of it. I wondered how a tincture would be so I picked some blossoms and left them to dry for a day or two before I submerged them in 190 proof vodka. After a few days I strained it out and replaced the blossoms. It's now on it's third infusion. I shake it daily and dab a bit on my wrist. At first it's grassy and more like hay but dries down more like the scented June air.
|Chocolate mint extract filtering.|
n my community garden plot I have a patch of chocolate mint that's out of this world. I've used it in the past to make tea and was pleased but not as fanatical about it is as I've been since last summer when I made some chocolate mint vodka out of it. The chocolate really comes through when it's macerated. I've been conjuring cocktails (along with the rest of the civilized world) the past couple of years but I don't even mix this with anything else. It's so good just on it's own. I wondered if I could make an extract of it to flavor other things, like seltzer or ice cream. I chopped up a bunch very fine and put it in a jar and covered it with 190 proof alcohol. It very quickly turned bright green. I shook it daily and yesterday strained off the emerald green liquid and used it to make chocolate mint seltzer. It's delicious but I'm not satisfied so I picked more mint last night and have added it to the extract - a double maceration.
|Jasmine blossoms macerating.|
Now my interest is piqued and I've been exploring some other materials to tincture. Dried jasmine blossoms have yielded a surprising result, more like cigarette burning than the indolic and intoxicating fragrance I expected. I've also been playing around with tea. I had some peach flavored black tea in the house and started with that. It's made the most exquisite elixir, I want to slather myself in it. A recent trip to the tea store and I now have Lapsang Souchong, Jasmine and Russian Caravan soaking.
asically all you do is make sure you have clean jars and good strong vodka (190 proof is best). Fresh plant material is best dried a day or two so that there is less water involved in your creation. Chop herbs finely and put in the jar and pour in just enough alcohol to cover. Make sure that everything is submerged in alcohol or you run the risk of spoilage and ruining your experiment. Shake the jars daily. You can double the maceration if you're so inclined. As always keep good notes so if you create something heavenly you can create it again. Good luck!